Brisket w/ Guinness BBQ Sauce

I have an interesting history with beef brisket. First of all, I didn’t grow up on brisket so I wasn’t familiar with it. But to be fair, when I got married and started cooking regularly, I wasn’t that familiar with many cuts of meat because I had never cooked meat for myself much. I wasn’t a vegetarian, I was just on a budget, and cooking for one is not as easy as cooking for two or four.

So one day, probably in 1982, I asked my husband what kind of meat he liked. He told me, among others, that he enjoyed brisket. I had to look it up. I found one brisket recipe in all of my cookbooks, which probably already numbered around 100 back then, and it was a German brisket recipe.

So that’s what I decided to make for an evening when we had company. I was definitely not impressed with the brisket itself, even though I’d followed the recipe. And I’m pretty sure no one else enjoyed it, either. It was dry and stringy. And now that I’m thinking back on the experience, I’m positive my husband was actually thinking barbecued brisket when he suggested the cut of meat. But I wasn’t that familiar with barbeque back then, either!

Over the many years of living in Oklahoma and Texas, I have gained respect for brisket. It can, indeed, make a wonderful meal when cooked and smoked at low temperatures for many, many hours. Or, cooked with a sous vide.

As you know, I’ve been experimenting with my sous vide, and I realized that a good test of the sous vide process would be to use a brisket. According to Stefan’s guidelines at the Stefan Gourmet Blog, I was to cook the brisket for two days in 135 degree F water. So that’s what I did two days ago.

To make things more festive, I decided to embrace St. Patrick’s Day – the day I would serve the brisket. So I also made a Guinness-based barbecue sauce.

Guinness Barbecue Sauce

1 – 14.9 ounce can Guinness
1 star anise
1 cup ketchup
3 tablespoons brown mustard
2 tablespoons honey
1 – 2 teaspoons hot sauce
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons butter

Pour the Guinness into a medium-sized pot, and simmer it over medium heat with the star anise until it is reduced by at least half.


Meanwhile, place all ingredients but the butter in a bowl.

When the Guinness has reduced, whisk in the other ingredients, and simmer until the sauce thickens a bit.


Add the butter and whisk it in.


I like all the flavors in this barbecue sauce, although I can definitely detect the Guinness after taste. I’m not a fan of dark beer, but Guinness is my husband’s favorite beer, so I knew he’d enjoy the sauce.

For the sous vide brisket, I preheated the sous vide to 135 degrees. Then I placed my three pound piece of brisket into a vacuum seal bag and sealed her up. I completely forgot about any seasoning, but that’s okay.

Just for fun, on Saint Patrick’s day, I cooked some rice called Bamboo rice, which I got from Marx Foods.


Unfortunately, it lost some of its green from the cooking process!


Then it was time for the brisket to come out of the sous vide. It looked like this:


I patted it completely dry, and trimmed off as much fat as I could from the one side.


Then I heated some oil in a grill pan over high heat. I seasoned the brisket generously with seasoning salt and garlic pepper.


I placed the brisket in the pan and browned the meat for about 2 minutes per side, and put on a clean cutting board.


Then I sliced it up. It wasn’t very pink. I asked my husband to test the brisket and when he did, he almost fainted. So I had to try it. Oh my, this was the most tender beef I’ve ever had, let alone the most tender brisket!!! I was so excited. This is what the sous vide is all about! I wish the photos could convey the tenderness.


Place the green rice on a serving plate, if you have some, topped by the slices of brisket, followed by the sauce.


Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!


  1. thesinglegourmetandtraveller March 17, 2013 at 10:08 AM - Reply

    The photos are pretty good, Mimi … the meat looks delicious!

    • chef mimi March 17, 2013 at 10:11 AM - Reply

      I think sous vide brisket might be my new favourite meat!

  2. apuginthekitchen March 17, 2013 at 10:08 AM - Reply

    That looks great, I can’t wait to get my sous vide, the brisket looks so juicy and tender and that BBQ sauce sounds amazing. What a great way to cook the brisket, sous vide is a revelation and that bamboo rice is the perfect accompaniment for the beef. Happy St Paddy’s day!

  3. chef mimi March 17, 2013 at 10:11 AM - Reply

    When you get your sous vide, do a brisket first. You will be so happy!

  4. StefanGourmet March 17, 2013 at 11:25 AM - Reply

    Great to hear the brisket came out so well! It does look great in the picture. Thanks for the link :-) Don’t think I would like the Guinness sauce as for me even regular beer is too bitter.

    • chef mimi March 17, 2013 at 12:22 PM - Reply

      It’s incredible! The sauce was worth a shot. My husband didn’t love it because it was very mustardy, so I cut back the mustard in the above recipe to 2 tablespoons. It was fun for St. Patrick’s Day, although we ate it yesterday!!!

  5. StefanGourmet March 17, 2013 at 11:30 AM - Reply

    P.S. Wonder what you and your husband will think about a brisket that has been smoked a bit before going into the sous-vide…

    • chef mimi March 17, 2013 at 12:22 PM - Reply

      I know it only has to be better…

      • StefanGourmet March 17, 2013 at 5:03 PM

        The trick is in the right amount of smoking. Not too much and not too little. I need some more practice to perfect it.

  6. on thehomefrontandbeyond March 17, 2013 at 11:44 AM - Reply

    yum — Happy St. Pat’s Day

  7. chef mimi March 17, 2013 at 12:22 PM - Reply

    Happy Green Beer Day!

  8. Victoria March 17, 2013 at 1:14 PM - Reply

    This looks great! I think you added a festive touch with the green nail polish. :) Or…do you also have a green thumb? You are definitely a talent in the kitchen…perhaps in the garden as well? This was a nice, creative change for brisket on St. Patrick’s Day…yum!

    • chef mimi March 17, 2013 at 3:29 PM - Reply

      Ha! you noticed the nail polish! I try to have a green thumb, but I don’t always… But I have to fight extreme heat and humidity here in the summer. Thanks for commenting!

  9. yummychunklet March 17, 2013 at 4:43 PM - Reply

    Yum! Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

  10. myhomefoodthatsamore March 17, 2013 at 6:01 PM - Reply

    Eye candy Chef Mimi … I’m sure it tasted delicious!

  11. delectablediction March 17, 2013 at 6:13 PM - Reply

    I think the pictures capture the juicy-tenderness perfectly! Yum!

    • chef mimi March 17, 2013 at 6:28 PM - Reply

      Well thanks!! Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

  12. lapadia March 17, 2013 at 7:11 PM - Reply

    Looks and sounds delicious, love the green rice! Sous Vide definitely sounds like a fine way to do the brisket. I corn my own brisket in a vacuum sealed bag, but water cooking in one takes it up to a new level!

    • chef mimi March 18, 2013 at 8:44 AM - Reply

      I have yet to brine beef, but I definitely want to try that just to make something different. But I gain respect for the sous vide process every time I use it!

  13. foodfrommetwoyou March 18, 2013 at 7:30 AM - Reply

    what a great idea for guinness bbq sauce..will have to give that a try … lovely post..sarah

    • chef mimi March 18, 2013 at 8:45 AM - Reply

      Well, it helps if you love Guinness! I do not, unfortunately! Thanks for stopping by!

  14. FoodBabbles March 18, 2013 at 9:13 AM - Reply

    I’ve never sous vide anything before and I’m always so intrigued. Some day I’d like to own one and experiment. I love brisket and this recipe sounds amazing!! Oh and I bet a smoked brisket is amazing also. Never had it that way either. Lovely!

    • chef mimi March 18, 2013 at 1:10 PM - Reply

      It was so intriguing to me as well, so I gave in and bought one. I bought the smaller sous vide, called a demi, which is less expensive. But then, I had to cut the brisket in half. So there’s a downside, too. I guess it depends how many people you feed!!! Thanks for stopping by!

  15. Christine (FoodWineTravel) March 18, 2013 at 11:04 PM - Reply

    Guinness – the black gold. A great idea to incorporate it in your sauce, Mimi.

    • chef mimi March 19, 2013 at 6:55 AM - Reply

      Well, unfortunately I’m not a dark beer drinker! But I made it for my husband – it’s his favorite beer…. Thanks for stopping by! I love your posts!

  16. theglobalgarnishgeek March 19, 2013 at 4:12 PM - Reply

    The brisket looks fabulous. I do think BBQ is the best way to do brisket – although your mention of Sauerbraten reminds me that is a great dish as well — same slow cook and tangy flavor.

    You’ll have to keep me posted on your sous vide experience. As a toxicologist, I just can’t get comfortable with the idea, but I know many people love it.

    • chef mimi March 19, 2013 at 6:22 PM - Reply

      hahaha! Where there are some rules that must be followed, but I know, it just goes against everything you thought you knew about cooking meat!

  17. ladyredspecs March 22, 2013 at 6:09 PM - Reply

    Mimi, the WordPress reader is playing games, missed a whole bunch of posts last week! I’ve never cooked brisket, today is the day! I hope my method is as successful as your sous vide. It looks luscious!

    • chef mimi March 22, 2013 at 6:51 PM - Reply

      oh no! i’m sorry! well I hope you like brisket. It’s a pretty tough meat, but I’ve never liked it better than the sous vide way!!!

  18. denise and sandy March 23, 2013 at 7:45 AM - Reply

    we have been looking for a brisket recipe. we’ve tried it before but haven’t been all that happy with it. this might be the one. thanks.

  19. Mois Pasta December 1, 2022 at 9:36 AM - Reply

    A very good article. Congratulations

    • Chef Mimi December 4, 2022 at 10:23 AM - Reply

      Thank you!!!

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